All of us on the Plett Ratepayers committee wish our members and supporters a happy and successful 2024.
We are pleased to once again distribute our year end reports which will give you a sense of our activities and interactions with Bitou throughout the year as well as point towards our priorities for 2024. The first two are attached with more to follow.
We have maintained our cordial relationship with Dave Swart and I really believe he is to be commended in many areas. The same cannot be said unfortunately about our Municipal Manager Mbulelo Memani, whose strained relationship with our association, as it has been with other Ratepayer Associations, continues.
We are committed, however, to regaining constructive engagement with the Administration as there are many critical issues to address in our future.
Bitou this season has served the locals and tourists well. The roads are in great shape, the town is clean and well looked after and the responsiveness of the service teams has been outstanding.
But many municipalities around the country have taught us the danger of complacency. There are a number of worrying signs, notably our inability to stay ahead of solid waste removal, ongoing water pipe breakages and leaks, and continued issues of sewerage blockages and leaks.
The budget should be addressing these key infrastructure needs, but it is our view that we lack the ability to execute these maintenance items and capacity expansion with a sense of urgency. Our expenditure of capital funds year to date is dismal.
Contributing factors are management capabilities, project management capacity and the ongoing issues with Supply Chain Management which ranges from questionable tender awards to tenderpreneurs, as well as time consuming processes.
Over and above our objectives of oversight and improved governance, we will be turning our efforts this year towards the strategic longer-term issues of water security, efficient and cost-effective waste removal, expanding our sewerage capabilities and consideration of alternative power, to name a few. There is so much skill and expertise in our community across all these areas. All we need to do is convince Bitou that community engagement, collaboration and willingness to work together is a competitive strength. Then we can shift “Better Together” from an empty slogan to a reality.
In order to do this, we need your help and involvement, more importantly we need to build our membership base so that your subscriptions can support our efforts to achieve sustainable service delivery for everyone in Bitou.
The team and I look forward to any comments you may have on our reports.